It can be hard to understand Chinese distributors as they have their own way to function. But it’s crucial to do business with them if wanted to import some products in China. So first of all,we have to understand them. Here is what they really want.
A brand already famous and well-established
If you are not famous in China and you don’t have a marketing strategy well-established, it’s not necessary to find a distributor as it won’t do business with you. Distributors are looking for brands already famous in China, maybe because they are famous in other countries, or because a digital strategy marketing has been set up. This brand also has to have a strong e–reputation. E-reputation is a must in China where people are always searching for information on Internet or in the Social Medias they affectionate a lot. Some products show bad quality in China, and this is why so many people will look for customers’ reviews before purchasing a product. Distributors won’t do business with a brand totally unknown or that has a bad or no e-reputation as they won’t find someone either to sell these products. So Chinese distributors want companies already known in China and that have a marketing strategy that will allow them to sell its products. Distributors are not here to market or invest on a brand: the brand itself as to take care of all these points. Brands that work well in China are known worldwide and usually are luxury brands.
They have a lot of requests about the products
Some points are not to forget: distributors want good quality products, with good packaging and accurate positioning. The products have to be adapted to the Chinese people: some products that please people in some countries won’t necessarily please the Chinese as they have a lot of requests and not the same expectations as in other countries. An example can be found in the cosmetic market: while a lot of sunless tanners are sold in many Western countries, whitening creams are sold in China. If sunless tanners were put in stores in China, no Chinese customer would buy them. This is why distributors make sure that the products will be suitable for the Chinese people. And a good way to know if they are suitable is to have an established and famous brand in China. The biggest brand that succeeds in China is a product that has undergone important changes to adapt to this country’s very different requirements and needs.
An easy business
Chinese distributors want to do only easy businesses. They are not looking for more than just distributing products. They are here to do business which means they won’t get involved a lot in the brand they distribute: in contrast with some Occidentals brand that will invest in the brand of their supplier, Chinese distributors will never do that. They want to make a profit and to do that they buy products from the supplier and sell it to a buyer, and they get the difference. If they buy products more expensive than they sold them, there is no interest for them to continue to buy them. They won’t take the risk to invest in something that can fall. They like to do their job and only do it. Easy business can be found without any problems with big brands known by the Chinese people because it’s famous in the whole world or because it are present on Chinese Social Media. The distributors don’t have to risk anything to do business with small companies as the biggest can be found.
They are looking for success
Chinese distributors want to succeed in their business. If a product is not working well, then the distributors will stop distributing it. No matter if they were distributing this product for years and they have a privileged relationship with the brand or the supplier. When there is something that does not work, they will stop distributing it. This can be explained by the fact that a lot of brands want to see their products in China nowadays. In fact, China is a rising country, and its upper middle class is growing bigger and bigger. These people have now the power of purchasing what they want, and they want to buy a lot of things. Non-Chinese goods are well-seen in this class because it rhymes with quality and luxury. So there are lots of requests for Occidental products in China. The first step to selling its products in China is to find a distributor. It means that distributors in China have a lot of applications for doing business with them. If a brand they are distributing is not working, they won’t take a huge risk by letting it go and finding another brand to do business with. As Chinese distributors are businessmen first, if a brand needs financial help to continue to sell its products, distributors won’t help it.